KHYBER: A headway has been made by the committee assigned the task to determine the British-era Missi Griffith demarcation line drawn between Peshawar and Khyber in 1912 and resolve the thorny issue of land ownership between the Kukikhel tribe and Peshawar district administration at the Regi Lalma Model Town located on the outskirts of Peshawar.

The committee members from both the Khyber district administration and the Kukikhel elders acknowledged ‘positive headway’ towards resolution of the decades-old land dispute.

Malik Naseer Ahmad, a Kukikhel elder and member of the seven-member core committee, told this correspondent that a series of meetings were held after the formation of the committee on Oct 28 by Peshawar Commissioner Riaz Mehsud.

He said that his colleagues in the committee had shown to the officials of the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) and the district administrations of both Peshawar and Khyber on ground the demarcation line drawn by the British officer Missi Griffith of Peshawar in 1912 to determine the boundariesbetween Peshawar and Khyber.

Kukikhel elder claims PDA included disputed land in Regi model town without their consent

“We have decided in principle to take one step back if the official side too shows some flexibility in resolution of this longstanding issue,” Malik Naseer insisted and added that a ‘conflict’ was not in the interest of either side.

He said it was now PDA’s turn to prove their ‘right’ to the disputed land as they had included it in the Regi Lalma Model Town without the will and consent of Kukikhel tribe.

Assistant commissioner, Jamrud, Shakeel Utmankhel too was upbeat about the resolution of the issue as he said that both sides were willing to show flexibility to accommodate each other’s contentions.

He said there was some difference in the ‘on-ground’ record of Kukikhel tribe and the PDA officials regarding Missi Griffith line and the issue would be resolved through mutual consultations.

He said he had prepared a briefing about the progress so far made during the committee meeting which would be shown to the Peshawar commissioner after discussing it with the Khyber deputy commissioner.

The two sides had earlier fought a legal battle in the Peshawar High Court which also recommended the resolution of the issue through negotiations while taking the land revenue records into consideration.

The Kukikhel elders had been demanding compensation for use of their joint land property in the Regi Lalma Model Town.

SCUFFLE AT TORKHAM: A taxi driver was injured during a scuffle between the drivers and customs staff over the road clearance issue at Torkham here the other day.

It was also learnt that the customs staff resorted to firing in the air to disperse the taxi drivers after one of their colleagues, Khalwat Khan, was injured. He was later taken to the Landi Kotal hospital.

The issue was resolved after intervention of the customs and police officials.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2022

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